This is the third part in a twelve part devotional commentary on “O Holy Night.” See the introduction here.
A thrill of hope The weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks A new and glorious morn.
As a consequence of sin, God cursed the ground (Gen 3:17). Man has had to toil in pain to provide for himself. There is conflict between man and woman and brother fights against brother. The darkness that envelops the world through sin runs through every human heart and stains the very earth upon which we live.
But around 2000 years ago the long dark night of waiting was over at last. Prophecies were meeting their fulfillment. “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.”(Romans 8:22) A world weary from the burden of sin would soon find rest, reconciliation and redemption. The coming of the Messiah represents a new day that comes after the longest of dark nights.
I can’t help but remember an analogous plot in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers. With an inevitable battle ahead, the wizard Gandalf must ride away in hope of finding aid from a group of horsemen. He tells Aragorn, “Look to my coming, at first light, on the fifth day. At dawn, look to the East.” The battle comes and it is fierce. An evil race of Orcs (Uruk-hai) was bred for the sole purpose of exterminated men, and they seemed to have the upper hand. Loses and set backs left the men of Rohan with little to no hope as the dark battle raged on. When all seemed lost suddenly a bright light came over the hillside from the East. The light from the horizon pierced the darkness and overcame it. It was Gandalf and the horsemen descending upon the Uruk-hai; forcing them to flee into an enchanted forest that completed the victory.
Yonder breaks a new and glorious morn, but it is no wizard with horsemen to defeat an earthly enemy. It is Jesus our Messiah, descended from the heavens in the form of a servant. Though a league of angels descended with Him, He alone is our victory. He fights not a battle against sword and axe, but against sin and temptation. When all seemed lost, He triumphed over our enemy such that death no longer stings. Glorious indeed is our Messiah’s birth as for us it means a new day is coming- the first of days without end where darkness no longer reigns.